Dancehealthier is pleased to post the last Conversation Sunday piece of 2011 – A Continuation of last weeks Q&A session with Kate Crews-Linsley! If you have not had the chance to read Part 1, feel free to take a look HERE!
Kate was a soloist with Ballet West for ten seasons, just recently retiring in June of 2010. Prior to her 10 years with Ballet West, Ms. Crews studied with Pacific Northwest Ballet and danced with Kansas City Ballet for 5 seasons. With many years of training, performing, and traveling, she was brought to yoga when searching for a balance in her career. She has been practicing yoga for 10 years and teaching for 6. Kate currently works with D’ana Baptiste directing the Inbody Outreach, a non-profit that connects therapy programs and existing service programs to skilled yoga teachers. Her passion is to connect all that might benefit from yoga for recovery including those that may not be able to afford it. Also, Kate currently volunteers her services at the University of Utah, Utah Health and Human Rights and the Rape Recovery Center.
Dancehealthier is honored to continue sharing her story.
dancehealthier: How has yoga helped you personally in your dancing?
Kate: Yoga got me out of the mirror. With dance, you’re constantly in front of the mirror, which makes dancers tend to judge their movement by what they think the mirror is telling them. With yoga, I learned to really feel my body move. I learned to move with breath and energy. I have practiced a lot of asana (poses) and breath work since leaving Ballet West. When I go back to the stage now (as a freelance dancer) it feels different. I find myself less judgmental, which allows me to have true enjoyment of movement and artistry. Yoga has actually made ballet easier for me. It has become less stressful and more enjoyable.
Dancehealthier: Kate, can you tell us some pivotal moments in which you have helped the dance, or even the non-dance community, with overall energy, strength and sense of self?
Kate: While teaching yoga to a lot of my dance students, I have seen many of them really come into their own. With practice, a certain sort of trust started to take place in their bodies and movement. It was great to see them, when they gave themselves permission to do so, to close their eyes and just move.
Most recently my favorite group to work with is Vets returning from Iraq or Afghanistan. I have the pleasure of working with a group called Rivers of Recovery in the summers. I teach the vets breathwork and some movement on fly fishing trips in Jackson Hole, WY. In their dealing with PTSD, traumatic brain injuries and amputations, you can only imagine the issues that arise. Without getting too much into that, this is where I have seen so much change. These men and women are able to sit and breathe and get out of the constant images that run thru their minds daily. They have seen some peace and can take these skills anywhere with them. Yoga has helped them to know that they are safe within their own bodies, as well as their surroundings. This work has been life changing for me.
dancehealthier: Do you feel there needs to be a greater awareness of dance and health in the future?
Kate: Most certainly. I feel it could be quite powerful for students, dancers, and professional dance companies. Especially when it comes to their longevity. Dancers need and deserve that!